As the pandemic lingers, here are four actions to help boost your career in 2022.
In my role, I see professionals who are serious about their progress master four key practices. Whether returning to the workplace or working remotely, taking steps to improve your career can create a feeling of fulfillment.
4 Ways to Improve Your Career
1. Prioritize Networking
It’s no secret that the most successful professionals are the most connected. The fact is most people choose to work with people they like. The more people you know, the better your opportunities to succeed.
If you find it unpleasant to meet strangers, make a game of it. Make it fun and find ways to help others. Share ideas and see how strangers become colleagues who become friends and can enhance experiences on your career path.
Those who have heard me speak or who have read my book All the Right Reasons are familiar with the Dorothy Principle.
On a pop quiz, a college professor asked: ‘What is the name of the woman who cleans this building?’ The professor was emphasizing that in life, nothing is more important than relationships. That includes being respectful, even to the point of knowing someone’s name.
Class members were stumped by the question but learned the woman’s name was Dorothy. I created the Dorothy Principle to remind us to put relationships first. Treating others with the utmost respect and kindness is a key to success that makes life more harmonious for everyone.
2. Keep Your Skills Up to Date
As I lead talented professionals around the world, I see those who are successful are also intent on keeping their skills up to date.
More than ever, we have tools, technology, and access to keep skills current. No matter your situation, today’s fast-paced environment will leave behind workers who don’t hone their skills.
To those who feel disadvantaged because of their situation, I’m reminded of Immaculee Ilibagiza in what I call the Cardboard Keyboard Principle.
After Rwanda’s genocide in 1994, Hutu fighters hunted Ilibagiza, who fled for protection. Even with killers outside her window calling her name, she stayed positive, was rescued, traveled to Rwanda’s capital, and applied for a United Nations job for weeks with no luck.
Immaculee told herself she could master English, which would increase employment opportunities. So she drew a computer keyboard on cardboard and spent hours learning how to type. After weeks of determination to learn English, countless attempts to get that job, and positive self-talk, she was hired.
3. Increase Visibility in Your Industry
Become known as a results-oriented problem-solver. Sharing your talent with others in your industry increases your credibility and esteem. Look for opportunities to write articles, post insights on social sites, and speak up in meetings.
Everyone has something to share, and actively setting a schedule to share professional perspectives can position you as a leader.
4. Apply for Awards
Progressive companies have an awards strategy. It positively benefits the company, the teams, and their customers. The same strategy can work for you.
Apply for awards to enhance your career. Awards and recognition are third-party endorsements that speak to a person’s talent and value. But it’s not about the fancy trophy; it’s about others affirming that you are the best at what you do, which helps define you and strengthens your personal brand identity.
This fourth step has incredible ROI because it can open doors and expand your network of colleagues. Again, the point is to increase word-of-mouth endorsements and referrals. Winning awards in your field of expertise fast-tracks that process.
I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Dec. 14, 2021.
Designed to help others find keys to successful careers and life, All the Right Reasons reveals 12 principles for living a life in harmony. All proceeds from sales of the bestseller are aimed at feeding two million meals to hungry children. Available on Amazon, each book sold provides 40 meals through The USANA Foundation.